Locals House Visiting Fans
While some students choose to rent out their driveways for game day parking, a more courageous way to earn some extra cash, some say, is to rent out a spot on the couch for the weekend.
A website called airbnb.com sets up that opportunity. The online service matches people seeking short-term accommodations to those with rooms to rent. The website allows anyone to list any type of room for any price they choose. Both renters and landlords can write reviews for each other to help ensure the quality of rooms and to help protect landlords from potential criminal activity.
Places in close proximity to campus are listed. Kim Cooke, a senior business major at the UA, posted a private room in her home for $35 a night. Cooke offers $250 for a weekly stay and $650 for an entire month. She will even drive you back and forth from the airport for $30, according to her profile on airbnb.com.
“We’ve always had a spare room in our house,” Cooke said. “I figured I might as well rent it out occasionally to earn a few extra bucks.
“I have never had any problems with guests,” she said. “I always meet with them and set down some guidelines before letting them stay. They usually keep to themselves and will only stay for a couple days at a time. Some guests do get a bit rowdy after football games though.
Like hotels, guests can write reviews of their stays online.
“(Cooke) is very generous,” one reviewer said. “She offers food and lots of information about the local area. The room has good internet with a window to study by. There was cat hair on the couch though, so protect your threads if you lounge there. The evening was quiet despite the fact that lots of neighbors in the building and block live close.”
Fans looking for a more luxurious stay during football weekends will be able to find more options on the website. Fans can rent a “Fay Jones Designed Masterpiece” for $78 per night.
“Designed by world renowned architect Fay Jones, this house has a rustic character that blends into the local campus surrounding. While studying architecture at the UA in the late 1940s, Jones designed this home for the dean to the law school,” according to airbnb.com.
“It’s a great idea, especially for a college town like Fayetteville. Students have the opportunity to make some extra cash while out-of–town fans have the chance to find last minute rooms for cheap,” said Bobby Perdue, a senior political science major.
The site was founded in October 2007 and allows listings in over 26,000 cities and almost 200 countries.
Stays vary from $10 a night for a futon in Brooklyn, N.Y., to $5,000 a night for a mansion in Squaw Valley, Calif.
Airbnb takes 6-12 percent of the rental price fees. Airbnb offers a guaranteed $50,000 in insurance to the landlord for potential damages caused by a renter. All payments are made through airbnb.com, according to their website.